Being a parent is never boring.
Over the years, I have spent time helping in classrooms...acting as team Mom for spring baseball...occasionally homeschooling...hosting sleepovers...teaching them to drive, cook, and apparently to swear...so why would I stop now?
Today I accompanied my son to traffic court for moral support.
We got there ahead of schedule after misjudging the summer traffic and sat for a while in the car before entering the courthouse. Once we had gone through security and found the proper courtroom, I settled into a bench in the hallway, just outside of the courtroom, to check email (and read the entertainment news) on my mobile device.
I felt a little like the resident information officer as I had to tell a handful of people that they should continue into the courtroom, as I was only sitting outside for fun, and not really part of the process.
I almost asked for a name tag and a clipboard.
But after a short while, the people had all filed into court and I was left alone to surf the web in peace.
I guess I was wrapped up in the latest news gossip online, so I didn’t hear someone trying to catch my attention.
I looked up to see a woman who already had a name tag and a clipboard motioning for me to follow her. “You need to leave.” She said.
I was immediately afraid that I someone turned me in for giving directions to people entering the courtroom. My worry was short lived as she finished her sentence. “They are clearing the courthouse; everyone needs to evacuate the building.”
What a relief!
I wasn’t in trouble; I was in the middle of a mandatory evacuation. A bomb threat, I discovered as I was swept into the sea of people rushing out of the building.
We were told to cross the street into the square and wait until the building was clear. It was nine-thirty in the morning, and I was suddenly very hungry.
Apparently bomb threats make me hungry.
I wasn’t the least bit worried about the courthouse blowing up (my car was parked at least a block away) instead, I was scoping out the shops for someplace serving breakfast. I figured I may as well eat while we were waiting. And we were in luck…the Australian bakery was just across the square.
After a blackberry scone and a drink, I was ready to face the danger at hand—the rising temperature! It had been almost comfortable when we first stepped outside. There was even a light breeze. But suddenly, it was becoming unbearable as the temperature climbed out of the eighties.
An hour turned into two before the building was clear for everyone to file back in through the security check point at eleven-thirty. I jokingly said to someone that after spending two hours in the hot sun in courtroom appropriate attire, they should at least discount the fines. You know, like a “one day bomb threat half price special”! I thought that would be fair. It would make all the people that didn’t have court today jealous. I imagined them cursing their continuances. “Damn! I could have gotten the bomb threat half price special if I had only gone to court today!”
Everyone laughed at my suggestion.
But I didn’t mind…it was funny. I mean, it’s not like a judge was actually going to give anyone a break just because they were unlucky enough to have court on the day someone decides to blow up the courthouse.
As it turns out, my son’s judge did exactly that!
She sliced the fines in half for everyone who came out of her courtroom before my son came out…and his fine was cut in half too. I can’t speak to what happened after that, because we paid his fine and got the heck out of there.
It was lunch time, and I was hungry again.
We stopped for lunch on the way home…I figured we might as well make a day of it. I was feeling lucky. After all…we had just spent the morning in a bad remake of a Keanu Reeves movie. Or was it a Bruce Willis movie?
At least we hadn’t taken the bus to get there!
Until the next time…I’ll be checking my lottery tickets!